Miralem Pjanic: This is the story of my life

By Miralem Pjanic

My name is Miralem Pjanic and I was born in Tuzla, Bosnia on 2 April, 1990.

When I was two years old, the war broke out and we all had to leave home.

We moved to Luxembourg, where I started my new life. My dad was a footballer but he had to work in a factory.

It was my dad who got me into football. One day he surprised me playing in the garage. He thought I was a thief. I always played football when I was a kid.

A ball was always in my arms or at my feet and I was always out with my friends. School was always important and I studied a lot as a kid. Just think, I speak six languages now.

When I was six I joined FC Schifflange 95, a first division team in Luxembourg. They knew I had talent but I knew only hard work gets you anywhere and I went away from my family at 13 for the first time.

I went to play for FC Metz in France. Metz had many champions so I trained hard to be like them. In August, I made my debut against PSG and then I scored my first goal in December. What a great emotion that was.

In 2008, I moved to Lyon, one of France’s top clubs. I had some very strong team mates and I proved to be at their level. I began training very hard and always respecting my coach’s advice.

I trained for hours each day and took many free-kicks. I still like doing that and I often score from them too.

While I was at Lyon, I took a very important decision for myself. Although I had grown up in France, I decided to play for Bosnia and in 2014 we made history — we qualified for Brazil 2014. What an incredible emotion to play in the World Cup.

It’s been almost 5 years now that I have lived in and played for Roma. It’s a beautiful city which I’ve learned to love.

I try and work hard every day to earn my family and the fans’ respect. When I arrived at Roma, someone defined me as Giotto, ‘The Painter’, but the nickname I prefer is the one I got from Captain Francesco Totti, ‘The Little Prince’.

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